An Evening At Grill 23 With Brandt Beef And Burgess Wines
I was recently invited into Grill 23 & Bar for a special dinner to celebrate their partnership with the Brandt family. Grill 23 is part of the Himmel Hospitality group (along with Harvest and Post 390), and all the restaurants in the group serve Brandt Beef. The dinner featured, understandably (and I am not complaining!), a lot of beef, prepared by executive chef Jay Murray, as well as wines from Steve Burgess and Burgess Cellars.
After having a glass of wine at the bar, I was escorted into the event room for the dinner. All the guests had escort cards like you'd find at a wedding, and the tables were named after various cuts of beef. I was at the flank table and was lucky enough to be sitting with Eric Brennan of Post 390, Maura Graham of Sullivan Communications, Amy Traverso of Yankee Magazine, Rachel Blumenthal of Fork It Over, Boston, and Eric Brandt, himself.
Once everyone was seated, Chris Himmel gave a little introduction and background about the two families and then the dishes started to arrive.
The first course was a smoked tongue carpaccio with mushrooms and fried blue cheese. I was worried about the tongue but I shouldn't have been because it was delicious and had a great texture too.
It was paired with a glass of Grenache.
Next up were pierogi with beef sweetbreads, cheek confit, and caramelized onion. These were amazing. I could have made a meal out of this course. As we were making our way through the courses, I chatted with Eric Brandt a little and asked him how it worked -- whether Grill 23 takes whole cows or if they sign up for certain parts. He explained that the great thing about working with Jay Murray is that in addition to the typical steakhouse cuts, he uses the less popular parts and, as we could tell from these first two courses, does amazing things with them.
The pierogi were paired with a Syrah, and the brisket that followed was paired with a Merlot. I usually am anti-Merlot, but I really enjoyed this one.
The red wine-braised brisket was served with an earthy sunchoke puree, which nicely complemented the sweeter notes of the sauce.
While every course was really good and I liked the more adventurous preparations, being at a steakhouse, I was happy to see that the fourth course involved some rib-eye -- my favorite traditional cut. Along with the flavorful, fatty rib-eye, there was New York strip. We enjoyed these with family-style sides of creamed spinach, tater tots, and mac 'n' cheese. This course was paired with a Cabernet.
After dinner, Eric Brandt got up to talk about Brandt Beef and the partnership with Himmel Hospitality Group. We all toasted with a glass of Burgess Cellars 1998 Library Release.
Dinner concluded with some sweet bites for dessert: peanut butter truffles, strawberry-rhubarb tarts, pecan caramels, hazelnut financiers, and passion fruit pate de fruits.
I was blown away by this whole evening. The food, the presentation, learning about the partnership between the two families, and trying Burgess wines all impressed me. This was my first time at Grill 23, and I hope to get back there to celebrate a special occasion some time.
You can find Brandt Beef at Grill 23, Harvest, and Post 390. Post 390 is even offering a "Farm to Post" menu featuring Brandt Farm this month. The three-course menu is $48 and includes choices of enticing dishes like beef cheek empanadas and bacon-wrapped top sirloin of beef.
What are your favorite steakhouse dishes? What are the most creative dishes you've had at a steakhouse?
This event was complimentary, but as always my opinions are my own.
Labels: Restaurant reviews and events